Wednesday, March 31, 2010

A Sad Day at Our House

I know I usually don't write about downer things on the blog, but since I'm trying to keep it real, since I think writing about it will keep me from having to tell the story over and over, and since I think it might help me to write it all, here goes. Oh, and if you don't have dogs, you probably will think this is the lamest thing you have ever read, so you can just skip it.

We had to find a new home for Brinkley, and he left to go to his new home this morning.

I will start out by saying we love Brinkley, he has been part of our family for almost three years, and he has been a wonderful dog.

But, since he was a puppy, he has had some temperament tendencies that I haven't loved, but I have worked really hard with him to get to overcome them.

I have been around poodles my entire life, and know what a correct poodle temperament is like. It's laid back, very chill, kind to all people, and a great family dog.

Brinkley was always a little high-strung from the beginning, so I worked with him by taking him to four different obedience classes. I would take him to the dog park to work on socializing him, and tried to take him to new places to get him over his nerves.

He has always "picked on" smaller dogs than him, and he has never been really great with children. When kids would run, he would try to chase them (which is NOT good when you have a dog that weighs 65 pounds and is 27 inches at the shoulder). And recently, he has started showing signs of aggression when we have had people over. He growled and kind of snapped at one of Mark's friends a few weeks ago, and then when we had a Bible study group over, he growled at some of those guys.

So of course, for me, I have been thinking, how in the world are we going to make this work when we have our own kids?

And yes, I worked with him. I would grab his muzzle and say NO BITE any time he snipped at anyone of anything (including the vacuum). I talked to trainers about his issues. I tried to keep him away from situations that would trigger him.

But he just seems to have gotten worse instead of getting better. Recently we had a family over and he actually snapped at one of them who wasn't even doing anything rude to him. And when that happened I knew it was the last straw. I knew we couldn't keep him.

But just to make sure I wasn't over reacting, I talked with the local poodle rescue, and with my mom, who has bred poodles for almost 20 years ( I explained Brinkley's temperament issues. My mom already knew about them and worded it very well when she said he was "unpredictable". Also, she said she didn't think I got a true poodle temperament in Brinkley, which unfortunately, I would have to agree about.

The first reaction of poodle rescue was to think it was my fault. And in theory I agree with them, that all dogs are trainable. Yet, at the same time, I'm not a novice to dogs. I know poodles. I've been around them my whole life. And I knew that Brinkley was not a good fit for our home. After the poodle rescue poodle knew everything I had done to work with Brinkley, they agreed that it was perhaps an inherent temperament issue with him. And, I actually felt at peace with the decision, as heart-wrenching as it was.

So, after several days of crying, Mark and I placed him in the care of poodle rescue. He will be at a foster home for a few days where he is evaluated and they will work with him on some of his challenges, and then they said they already have a wonderful home for him with a lady that is in her mid 50's. It sounds like it will be the perfect home. A one person home, no children, and the lady has a couple of poodles. I think perhaps it will be like a re-set button for Brinkley. He will have a new home with a new parent that loves him and he can learn his manners a little better. So I think everything will work out well for Brinkley.

Of course Mark and I are just crushed. We feel terrible. Mark now thinks he going to be a horrible parent, and I of course assured him that was not the case. We loved Brinkley like a family member and will miss him terribly. Having to leave Brinkley with the adoption lady was one of the hardest things I have had to do in a really long time. I don't know why I even bothered putting make-up on.

Anyway, I know this is really depressing, but I just wanted to let everyone know what was going on.

On the brighter side, we have decided to get a new, smaller dog, that we will have and then wait until we get a home to get another standard.

So, this post is for Brinkley. We miss you already, buddy, but we know you are going to a great home. We love you.



  1. Oh Kathryn this makes me want to cry! I'm so sorry, what an awful choice to have to make. You did work extremely hard with Brinkley, and you both loved him so much I know you couldn't have done this if it wasn't the right thing. You are both good parents!! Ok I'm making myself tear up so I'll stop. Love you!!!

  2. Awww... it is a really hard decision to give an animal away, even if it is the right decision. Good for you guys for putting your family first and realizing that even though a dog is part of your family, they are still animals. I am sure you will miss Brinkley, but you do have a new dog to get to know and love!

  3. Aww I'm soo sorry girl.
    You made the right decision though...this will probably be best for both of you, esp. since it's a single person household he's going to...he might not snap as much.

  4. Wow, that's a tough one but I think you made the right decision too. Especially for when you guys bring kids into your home someday. You can't have a dog around that is unpredictable. It's never easy letting a pet go, especially when they become such a big part of the family. I'm so sorry you had to go through that.

  5. Oh, I'm so sorry!That is heartbreaking, but it sounds like you've tried everything you could!

  6. Awww, what a hard situation. As hard as it was, it sounds like you made the right decision for both your family and Brinkley.

  7. I cried all day when I had to leave the cat I had fostered for only a month at the vet for the cat rescue group. I feel your pain.

  8. It's always tough to lose a bet. Whether by choice, old age or accident. I've never been a dog fan personally, but I can understand. I have wept over my kittens so many times in the past when they've had to go to another home...or when their time here was just up.


  9. Awwww, so sad!! It sounds like you did everything you possibly could and that's all you can do. I'm sure Brinkley will be very happy in his new how, as sad as you guys are to have him go. (((HUGS)))

  10. You made the right decision.

    I have made difficult decisions regarding my dogs too. I left them in the UK when I came to Oz. I had my reasons, and still believe they were valid.

    However, Arran, one of our dogs, has now been destroyed. He had, at times, an unpredictable nature. We knew this. We made such an effort to socialise him into his new family. But after a few months of being here, we were told what had happened. He had apparently bitten a couple of people.

    I can't describe the guilt. I still cry about it if thoughts of him catch me off guard. I was watching a clip of The Littlest Hobo a few weeks ago and I just crumbled.

    However, saying all that, I still feel I made the right choice at the time.

    Your situation is different, but similar. You have made the right choice, and that is all any of us can do.

    You are in my thoughts. x

  11. Totally feel for you! That would be so difficult, but you're right...Brinkley has a wonderful new home!

  12. Oh hon, I am so sorry!!! I know how heart wrenching that decision was for you but you know you made the right one. I've never had to give up a dog, but I know I would be devastated if I did. I'll be thinking of you. HUGS!!!!

  13. I know this must be tough, but it sounds like you really thought this through. I'm certain you will both be great parents one day! It's great that Brinkley already has a new home waiting for him.

  14. Hey girl, don't be too hard on yourself, I think you made the right decision for yourself. That's what matters.

    As far as a small dog breed - we have Brody who is a mix between a shih-tzu and poodle and he is just the apple in our eyes! ;)

    Good luck with everything and hang in there!

  15. I have a miniature poodle who is very similar! She's such a playful sweetheart with me and with everyone she knows.

    However, when there are new people over she'll usually bark and growl a bit when they come in the door. She also nips the feet of anyone who tries to come into my room. And she HATES kids.

    Since I don't live in a very good neighborhood, I don't want to completely train her out of this behavior because she's a great guard dog. It's a tough situation, but since it's only a few seconds with each new person, and it's only when she's in her own house, it doesn't bother me too much.

    It sounds like Brinkley's new home will be very well-suited for him! You made a good decision, and I hope ya'll feel better soon.

  16. Aww that has to be so hard, but it sounds like it was the right decision for everyone, including the pup.

  17. oh no! that's such a shame, but it sounds like you're doing the right thing. at least you know that he's in another loving home.

  18. oh Kathryn as a furbaby momma myself of a very spoiled dog I can totally understand your pain. But I think you did the right thing and at least you get the comfort of knowing he went to a loving home.

  19. Although it was a tough decision to make, it sounds like it was the best thing for everyone. I know how pets can become part of the family, but now you have a fun new addition so yay for that!

  20. That is a really tough decision to make, but it sounds like its better for all of you. Chin up, and tell Mark it doesn't mean he'll be a horrible parent :(


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